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Question about first Water Change

This is a discussion on Question about first Water Change within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Okay here are the current readings..... Temp 80.3 pH 8.0 Ammonia 0.25 (darker than yesterday's test, but the same as my tap water) Nitrite ...

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Question about first Water Change
Old 02-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #11
 
Okay here are the current readings.....

Temp 80.3
pH 8.0
Ammonia 0.25 (darker than yesterday's test, but the same as my tap water)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5.0

Current residents
2 teen Angelfish
2 baby Congo Tetras
2 baby Kuhli Loaches
1 baby Red Fin Shark (was originally told Red Tail Shark, but now that he comes out more, I see all fins are red)
5 small Otocinclus (I added these thursday- so far I have only seen 3 out and about - only 2 since the water change but I haven't found any bodies yet.)


I have two new airstone strips soaking, the ones that came with the tank were icky and one doesn't work so well. I also bought a new filter unit to add so there will be two filters - is that over kill? The AqAdvisor suggested I add additional filtration.

The biofilter on the old filter is brown, doesn't that mean there is some bacteria there? Kept it wet in the move and didn't change it. I did change the carbon filters with the pwc these had not been changed in months...the previous owner wasn't so good about that I think.

How long should a mini cycle last?
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Read through this, I think we're on the right track.
Byron.
Hmm. I guess if you put us together, we're almost as smart as Byron.


(okay, now I'm leaving. )

Last edited by redchigh; 02-13-2010 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Read through this, I think we're on the right track. We still don't know the fish you have, that is important. Your temp at 81 is warm, but if the fish need it, fine; if not, it should be lower. I'll comment when I know the fish species.

As for water changes, they will not hurt the fish provided you use a good conditioner. What is the name of yours?

Re the ammonia, this will be diluted by the partial water change (pwc), as will nitrites. Both are highly toxic to fish so this is important. A pwc every day of 50% of the tank is fine if that is needed to keep ammonia and nitrite below .25 ppm. A water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite will help with this. And it is fine to use them, explanation below.

Detoxifiers usually change ammonia to ammonium; ammonium is basically harmless. Test kits will still show ammonia/ammonium as ammonia, so keep that in mind. If you are using an ammonia detoxifing conditioner, nothing to worry about. Bacteria use ammonia and ammonium, so no problem there. If you have traces of ammonia in your tap water, I would use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia.

May have more (I'm sure I will) when I know your fish species and the conditioner.

Byron.
I came to your other thread on chemicals and it has answered my questions, so I can continue.

I would lower the heat; while the fish listed can manage at 81, their ranges also start at 75F and cooler is better than warmer when fish are OK with it since oxygen is higher in cooler water and with everything else, less oxygen will mean more stress. Lower the temp to 78F by adjusting your heat slowly; it will take a few hours, you don't want to turn it down enough that it doesn't come back on at 77/78.

On the conditioner, the API Stress Coat is the better of the two since it will deal with ammonia plus chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. The Jungle would work but does nothing for ammonia, so for the present I would use the API.

If ammonia or nitrite read .25 or higher, do a pwc, once a day should do it, with the API conditioner.

I agree the pH at 8 is high for the fish you have, but it is better to leave that alone until the tank is cycled, and we can consider options then. Those chemicals will not permanently adjust the pH, resulting in fluctuating pH which is even more stressful. I've mentioned stress a lot, this is a major issue with fish just as it is with humans. Stress means weaker immune systems, more chance of health problems...we always want to lessen or eliminate stress. Right now getting the nitrification bacteria working to handle (thereby eliminating) the ammonia and nitrite will ease current stress, that is the goal.

Byron.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:46 PM   #14
 
Um... so the ammonia levels actually went up slightly with the water change.

Can you reccomend a good water conditioner that removes ammonia?

I have one that states (in my shopping cart of chemicals)

"Aquarium Starter and Optimizer for Freshwater Aquariums: Cycles Freshwater tanks in one to three days; Eliminates Toxic Ammonia and Nitrite from Tank; Use Montly to keep tank Clean and Healthy; Live, non-toxic bacterial formula - not a chemical" There is no brand name just says call XXX fish store to reorder.

Call me skeptical, but how can bacteria live in a sealed bottle? Don't they need oxygen? Also its not refrigerated... And the promise to cycle a tank in 1-3 days seems too good to be true.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:33 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
Hmm. I guess if you put us together, we're almost as smart as Byron.
haha too funny...but yet all too true!! haha
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:37 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl View Post
Um... so the ammonia levels actually went up slightly with the water change.

Can you recommend a good water conditioner that removes ammonia?

I have one that states (in my shopping cart of chemicals)

"Aquarium Starter and Optimizer for Freshwater Aquariums: Cycles Freshwater tanks in one to three days; Eliminates Toxic Ammonia and Nitrite from Tank; Use Montly to keep tank Clean and Healthy; Live, non-toxic bacterial formula - not a chemical" There is no brand name just says call XXX fish store to reorder.

Call me skeptical, but how can bacteria live in a sealed bottle? Don't they need oxygen? Also its not refrigerated... And the promise to cycle a tank in 1-3 days seems too good to be true.
Water conditioners. The API one you have is OK. Seachem's Prime is well recommended by others on this forum. I have nothing but chlorine in my tap water so I've only ever used Kordon's. But with ammonia I would use one that handles that as well.

Yes it is possible to have live bacteria in a bottle, but it has a shelf life. But I know nothing about the product you have. Dr. Tim Hovanec discovered the process some years ago, and now there are a few manufacturers that use it. Seachem's Stability I have used. I can't recommend something I don't even know. Plus, as I say there is an age limit to these and that one may have passed its age. These products don't "cycle" a tank, they provide live bacteria to get the nitrification cycle going. With fish in the tank this is critical, as it takes the bacteria time to establish and multiply.

If you are close to a fish store, I would recommend Prime conditioner, and Stability bacterial supplement. Both made by Seachem. Plus daily pwc if ammonia and nitrite are present. But remember with the ammonia, if you are using the ammonia detox stuff it will read ammonia but be ammonium which is OK. The nitrite is the more critical in that scenario.

Byron.
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